2001 RWD Safari Van

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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » August 27th 2020, 5:09pm

:rolling:
that's awesome, thanks
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby dcsleeper » August 27th 2020, 6:56pm

rereading...
so, did you order a left Anchor MM as sacrificial metal bits? did you already have the right? hence my question of if you are awd or not.
I have AWD and not a box of used mounts so I'm trying to learn how to apply to what I've got.
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » August 27th 2020, 7:57pm

You have two vans, cargo and passenger, both 2004, that's cool.
I like the white colored front van, kinda looks like a G10, also cool.
Sent PM

*edit*: 2001-2005 AWD according to their site also use the RWD style... but I'd ask them before ordering, without one in my hand or measurements, going by the images I've seen, the 2001 and on look different from mine.
https://www.energysuspensionparts.com/7521
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » September 24th 2020, 10:56pm

I long since pulled the transmission here's what I've got in pics.
Rebuild_1.jpg

Other_books.jpg

Rebuild_2.jpg

Pump_cracks.jpg

Check_ball.jpg

Clean_inspect_rebuild.jpg

Rev_Input_Piston.jpg

2-4_Servo.jpg

Parts_organized.jpg

Painted.jpg

Today.jpg

As of today you seen I'm rebuilding the valve body. I had to ask dkGarnet96 what he thought of what appeared to be cracks in the pump body, as his was the most informative post on the transmission rebuild here and the Hiram video Rebuild 4L60E Budget DIY
https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=87057&hilit=rebuild
So I previously shared what kit and other parts, after removing transmission I found the TORCO rebuilt converter would not go on the input shaft, of course I contacted them and was convinced I purchased the wrong one. Johnny was great and after talking we determined it was not straight, so I mailed it back to California and USPS lost it as of a month ago...
I got the ATSG manual it's a good checklist, that is because I have the world wide web, found TransmissionBench on YouTube and the vast versions of everybody and their brother rebuilds and kit mods so I decided to just give a quick photo blog kinda driveby, it was a good idea to start, was just going to put it in an image folder here, no sense blubbering up my build thread over a common rebuild, but it got out of hand and became many pics and well, I vomited again, but at least I did my best to compile them together and write all over them followed by resizing until you can't see much...
The GM AUTOMATIC OVERDRIVE TRANSMISSION BUILDER'S AND SWAPPER'S GUIDE by Cliff Ruggles is a great read! Highly recommend you read that first. Highly recommend anyone rebuilding a transmission as DIY first timer to read it all. I had to buy an air compressor engine cleaner that uses mineral spirits, a chisel/punch set, a small bushing driver set and I made my spring compressors from PVC caps from in the shed. I started out using my shop press and something else, bent the low/reverse spring cage and figured I've got three more to do so I better do it right. I found the check ball has made a nice nesting spot in the separator plate and was soon to get stuck and end the 2nd shift. As already posted the speed sensor wire was nicked and possibly causing the ground necessary to mess with the TCC solenoid as it grounds in the circuit that's how it activates. But none of that matters, fluid was changed, I should've flushed it, the frictions are burnt, some bearings as well but all that will be new, all new solenoids, pressure plate, wire harness, fix the wire, new mounts all around and move on. I'm being organized, thorough and terribly slow about it all and that's fine with me. I'm just following instructions I received with the TransGo Kit for the modifications. I couldn't find anything on the internet about turbulation except that my old steels have holes to keep the friction surfaces from getting foamy and causing drag thus reducing the miles per gallon efficiency and wondering why my new steels have no holes. I also could not find a video of someone installing the orifice plugs or how, so I figured it was "you just do it" kind of thing and upon doing so realized it's very easy. Still didn't see an image, so there it is, too bad I didn't edit the tags... low reverse clutch piston, hehehe and the SONNAX pinless pistons! I forgot, it's getting that mod too, why bother replacing the plastic FWD accumulator piston, the aluminum 1-2 accumulator piston if it's worn with OEM if you can delete the parts that wear and break... so I got the 3-4 accumulator piston (2x of the 1-2, they're identical) as well, it's a kit for $36 on Amazon delivered. So what did I learn? Asking the salesperson if I had everything needed to replace the worn parts of a working transmission, don't ask, pull it apart, see what you find and either hope you had it all or expect a long delay and that USPS has turned to [CENSORED] and a ton of 4L60E stuff. I really think I need to do those crankshaft bushings, seals and front cover, while in there another $40 something for water pump, heck, I already got the hoses and I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby sixsixsixsix is online! » September 25th 2020, 2:31am

My Goodness, that's quite the detailed post - Thank You.
Look forward to the updates, news and more great pics!
.

"Ban gerrymandering" out 1 side, then says, "We really need to get rid of the electoral college for starters, there is no way in hell that the person that receives fewer votes wins, simply crazy."
So only CAL, ILL & NY Elects??
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » October 2nd 2020, 5:21pm

Thanks Mike.

Update: USPS lost the torque converter :roll:

The company I was going to get the rebuild kit from originally, something he said about us "keyboard warriors" bothered me and I looked elsewhere for my kit. I threw them any orders I could if they offered parts I needed, the comment bugged me, so I found a stage 5 kit without kolene coated steels rated for 700 degrees because seriously my **** would melt and the fluid would last only minutes, and how, I drop in a 1000HP twin turbo V8 and lose my mind..? Anyway they recently sent me the wrong thrust washer kit without selective washers that I purchased. I left a one star review for that part kit, shipping me short like I would not notice, like I'm not going over all 700 plus parts of my transmission and the couple hundred other parts I purchased to restore it, seriously, as if I'm not going to measure or adjust the input shaft end play? I hadn't felt they should fix it, they earned that insult, sales guy calls and wants to talk about it and swap kits/parts I already installed, I made up my mind and wished him a good day, then he has the nerve to email me to get the last word. If I wanted to be an ******* I'd tell him, "Get off your ***, put my washers in an envelope and mail them three weeks ago!".

Purchased their 3rd accumulator heavy duty encapsulated check ball, it's standard ACDelco 8634400, I wanted it to remind me people will say anything to sell you nipple rings for **** on a bull they feed with our money.

"...keyboard warriors..." I got your keyboard warrior right here, best they find I felt I'd said enough already.

Tested the check ball, it passed, then decided to rip the old one out and install it because that's what I do, I do work I don't waste peoples' time or money, certainly not my own and I do my work well.

I'll keep learning and modifying this 4L60E, the pump and valve body have been upgraded/modified and are done, except for installing 5 gear planetaries it is nearly 4L65E now, hopefully as smooth as a Cadillac and fast shifting like a Corvette with a lot more torque than the rest of the van can handle anyway without a full frame. I'll put some pics and words together soon, case is 3/4 done and I've got to buy another TC, but certainly not from you know who.
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby sixsixsixsix is online! » October 2nd 2020, 6:58pm

I feel like I'm gonna' get the **** beat out of me if I don't agree...

:rofl:
.

"Ban gerrymandering" out 1 side, then says, "We really need to get rid of the electoral college for starters, there is no way in hell that the person that receives fewer votes wins, simply crazy."
So only CAL, ILL & NY Elects??
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » October 2nd 2020, 7:14pm

:laughing-rolling:
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » October 5th 2020, 12:00am

Everybody has a bad day now and then and can act like a jerk, I'm no exception.
Built up the input housing, overrun clutch, 3-4 pack and reverse input clutch housing.
Did a fit and measurement with pump and gasket torqued the bolts, it's at .026
end_play.jpg

Nailed it. Air pressure tests passed and ready for assembly.
Won't be needing those selective thrust washers after all.
Just using a .70 instead of .69 would put it at the limit.
.015-.036 .015 minimum required for input housing heat expansion.
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » October 6th 2020, 11:06pm

So I am stopped dead in my tracks, I'll get to that later.
First, Teflon seals, I used my own method which is time, patience, one of the valve body clips and lube, I found earlier the Assemblee Goo turns very runny and slick like when mixed long enough with ATF, working them only enough to slide over the high spots, I seen videos of people doing all sorts of horrible things and getting loose seals, sure they can be sized and reshaped, but why?
teflon_seals.png

Then replaced all the valve body parts according to Transgo directions and combined the SONNAX pinless FWD piston because it uses original spring.
valve_body_1.jpg

Then the Torrington bearings and thrust washers arrived so low/reverse clutch installed.
Uneventful, pic describes what I learned there.
low_rev_clutch.png

sun_shell.png

I really felt good and was glad this clip proved it.
3_4_clutch_pack.png

Reverse input drum, I'm on the fence with that choice.
reverse_input_drum.png

May slot the new steels here, the originals look tired, needed to find the original order too, each had a slight concave that graduated and only detectable with measurements.
separator_plate.png

Separator plate was a cake walk, just checking and drilling holes, but that's where the fun stopped.
I guess I began to think about the pinless and springs, reread TransGo instructions when I kept thinking I need to learn more. I did learn to flip the accumulator pistons to face away from valve body for hard shifts, understood, the plastic break, okay, then I kept reading don't use a third type piston in second type housing of the 1-2 accumulator, okay, but what is the SONNAX pinless type?
So I've been reading and searching, WoodButcher used Sonnax pinless but different rebuild kit, all over the internet, everyone else used the HD kits or locks them up with washers to firm shifts. Oldskoolgarage https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=128025&p=1364289&hilit=sonnax+transgo#p1364289 who called TransGo because his kit for firmer shifts called for spacers and pinless can not use washers, barrels, spacers, but my answer isn't right there because that is a different kit, mine requires no washers or pins, just springs. Seeing TransGo doesn't like the pinless, I'm not up to calling just yet. I really want to try first :geek:
I also seen on SONNAX site https://www.sonnax.com/parts/2520-pinless-accumulator-piston-kit says right there some aftermarket kit springs do not fit... I'm guessing may not work right. I've got a couple days to think it over, maybe measure spring travels and strengths, where they stop, measure piston lengths and where they stop, what fits with what or just go with original springs, they're right there... I do want the regular driving smoother shifts, full throttle firm shifts this set-up makes, hadn't opened the pinless bags yet... :think:
IMAG01494.jpg

Every other site that returned any combination of my terms does not address the TransGo SK 4L60E Shift Kit plus Sonnax 77998-03K, (well one really, GMTrailblazer Nation https://gmtnation.com/forums/threads/4l60e-sonnax-pistons-with-transgo-sk-4l60e-kit.17764/ but all I seen was hard shift results and a guy posing the same issue as me at the end) so if anyone knows if there is a solution, I'd like to hear it.
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » October 7th 2020, 5:23pm

So much for updates, we're having to do this in real time.
One of the Sonnax kits were open, I had already looked at one to see instructions and fitment of seals.
Of course I went on to experimenting with them, it was immediate I seen the problem.
PISTON_WORK.png

Image section A is measurements and shows Sonnax piston has an inner dome that doesn't allow use with TransGo SK inner spring. Section B shows this, as the spring is actually being held in place, it is stuck. There is no space for both springs or expansion. Section C shows the same, TransGo 3-4 yellow spring is stuck. Section D 1-2 orange and white springs are stuck.
Measuring with the caliper image section (A), because a pic can show what the issue is, yet to communicate properly the clearances tells the whole story. I would believe heat expansion of the aluminum may further bind the springs (B,D), maybe break them, it's the no leg piston breaking springs that TransGo warns of if used in a second type housing (deeper spring pocket, I understand) because one would build it with the red. If the third type housing and no leg are used, ideally one would install the shorter orange spring. The bottoming out of pinless under the shop press occured before the stock set-ups every time as they have longer legs.
This isn't a big deal to most. Sonnax answer is simple, some kit springs will not fit, use original or buy theirs. Theirs are for firmer shifts. The TransGo SK is for smoother shifts. As others had built they found firmer shifts I guess because the longer legs.
I know the simplest fix is use my old springs, I don't want to, the next fix is just to machine chamfer away some of that inner dome holding the middle spring, both inner piston diameters to 1.568", then machine the legs off to make these pinless pistons work for me.
TransGo SK ideally wants this outcome.
ideal_3_4_accumulator.png
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » October 8th 2020, 1:28am

Read too much about broken springs, I suppose this stuff pertains more to higher HP engines, but I'll use the Sonnax pinless pistons and original springs. I'm sure I'll like it, if not, I can visit it later.
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » November 3rd 2020, 11:07pm

Time to wrap this project post up.
Ready.png

Chose the Sonnax pinless with TransGo springs after all. I read How Accumulators Work, Part 2 https://www.sonnax.com/tech_resources/675-hydraulics-fundamentals-part-ii-accumulators-shift-feel Part 1 link is at the bottom of that read, then there's this stickied ImpalaSS thread https://www.impalassforum.com/threads/stickied-the-truth-about-many-upgrades-and-performance-parts-for-4l60es.269477/ whoa explosive right?
Was still learning about the torque converter at that time, there was this DCNF tag, it means ECCCC (electronically controlled clutch capacity) or EC³.
My research found the torque converter clutch does a lot more than I previously thought: off or on for lock up in 4th.
https://www.sonnax.com/tech_resources/254-a-slippery-slope-the-what-and-why-of-woven-carbon-friction-material
https://www.transtar1.com/TranstarIndustries/media/Transtar1/technical/bulletins/TLT-TC-035.pdf
Had read there one doesn't know if EC³ is occurring unless it is hooked up to diagnostics and seeing it happening live, but found that the EC³ TCs have the 10.7" bolt patterns (I've been wrong before I may not be right here), they all have some EC³ letter designation, however my letters differ DCNF vs. DCLF. Choosing TC goes beyond knowing if it uses paper friction, low carbon content or woven carbon TCC discs or stall rpm for sure. In the end LAP chose it for me, ProKing GM90, OEM replacement.
If it were worn out, may explain why I got the intermittent check engine light in tow/haul. I still believe it was all the issues combined, it was all just wearing out, frictions, steels, separator plate, but looking closer at the TCC now knowing it is woven carbon because the residue all over the inside is tenacious and makes me wonder how it effects electronics and sensors as it builds up. I thought it was all just old burnt fluid/frictions at first, but it's more like toner ink cartridge powder suspended in ATF, the mineral spirits I clean with was separating and difficult to strain/filter for the used can I keep for nasty jobs. Needed to stop looking and learning, there is no smoking gun and things just keep getting more strange the more I learned.
Did find a real good transmission parts supplier along the way: Whatever It Takes Transmission Parts https://www.wittrans.com/ the interactive part diagrams allow you to dial in, click a part, find the style you want and place in cart.
This was a nice read http://shop.ukrtrans.biz/wp-content/uploads/catalogs/4L60E_UPDATE_HANDBOOK.pdf glad I didn't buy one although it did explain destroying the neutral safety switch which I didn't destroy on my brother's 2001 Sierra. Now I'm not sure about the electronic connector will need to look at it.
Disassembled and reinstalled the reaction gear set and low/reverse clutch, replacing the turbulated steels, putting in the steels ALTO supplied with the kit. Then in went the silencer, roller clutch assembly, sun gear and shell, output shaft and clip again. I had used my 20+ year old snap ring pliers to disassemble the transmission, but needed to buy larger Channel Lock pliers, I flipped the tips and cut grooves to hold the snap rings better.
Snap_ring_tip.png

Input housing was already complete from first rebuild. Made a lip seal install tool from a peanut can lid for the reverse input clutch piston lip seals, worked perfectly. Again installing ALTO steels instead of the turbulated ones, checked clearance, good, loosed all the zip ties over the teflon seals and reassembled just like the test fit, installed the 2-4 band, ancher pin, pump case seal, then torquing to pump to case bolts 22ft-lbs (all torque specs from GM 1999 M/L Van Service Manual, really had to hunt for a few like exhaust y-pipe/crossmember). This time input shaft end play is 0.021", I don't know why it's any different except torquing the pump bolts, I was pleased, feeling more accomplished than the test assembly.
lip_wizardry.png

Gear selector, seal and parking pawl all went together easily (22ft-lbs) detent (16ft-lbs), old separator plate as shown previously had some checkball damage, common, then installed the valve body bolts (97in-lbs in sequence).
checkball_damage.png

A few parts received, wiring harness, sensor and solenoids were made by Transtar. The wiring harness kit was supposed to be wired as Type-1 3-2 valve(93-95), it was backward and confusing at first, the retainer clip is supposed to be easily be flipped for one or the other, now it's actually marked Type-1 yet wired for Type-2, I know it's right I just made it like the one I removed.
To add to that, Transtar changed the force motor connector, it's not like stock, connectors face pan flange with purple wire up is all I need to know.
The TC lock-up solenoid is universal style, glad there was an optional filter in the kit. These are nothing to an experienced transmission tech, but to a first timer DIYer, serius time eaters.
transtar_3_2_downshift.png

Buying the TransGo kit and Sonnax pinless pistons kit, was a rookie mistake, they don't go together, researched, found little, just guys saying there's a smooth low RPM shift then harsher shift at higher throttles (think that's called a slide bump?) Wide open throttle is no different and it shouldn't be. I flip flopped on this and thought a lot, last said I'd go with original springs then assembled it with TransGo springs anyway. I wasn't comfortable knowing what I knew so I took it all apart again to make those measurements I previously posted happen for the 1-2 accumulator. First, I took the grinder to it and removed the legs, then attempted to Dremel the inner diameter, that was too slow.
tooling_1.png

Assembled my drill with a small diameter drum sander but that was also slow and difficult to handle, kept thinking I a needed a lathe machine, then I grabbed a 2"x2 7/8 drum sander, a couple hose clamps and made a coupling rig.
tooling_2.png

I got to work on it with a file, like a machinist, but with hand tools, after snagging a few times, breaking file tips, I looked to my drill press. I removed the pedestal, reversed the plate and fixed it in my workbench. Running the drill press around 1700rpm and eating away at the billet piston finally making progress. The files removed a lot more this way but sandpaper worked the best, folding pieces of smaller drum sanding papers and holding with needle nose pliers, I cleared hundredths of material and smoothed away most of the file nicks and gouges rapidly.
Measured after an hour or so of work and was pleased. I then grabbed the polishing attachments and cleaned up the piston and accumulator housing to near mirror finish, washed in mineral spirits and dried with compressed air. Installed the PTFE and o-ring seals and this 1-2 accumulator now has a lot more travel, springs are not binding and I'm very comfortable with the space within. The desired outcome is less harsh 1-2 shifts with TransGo springs as the kit intends.
piston_work_2.png

I then removed the wire harness, valve body, plate/gaskets again down to the 3-4 accumulator, flipped the Sonnax back to OEM specs and replaced the original spring because most say it hardly makes a difference on 3-4 shifts, then reinstalled everything with my modified 1-2 piston. Pan bolts like most everythnig their size like speed sensor in the trans is 97in-lbs torque although some called for 6-10ft-lbs I found no difference between the 97in-lbs vs. 8ft-lbs (approx) except using either a two ft long 1/2" drive torque wrench or a 10" 1/4" drive so it was 97in-lbs for me. Had to reset the output shaft sleeve, it got bumped, moved and then loosed, so I used the driveshaft propeller shaft to set it back in place like a slide hammer, replaced the o-ring within it (lubed all o-rings with ATF) greased the splines, then placed new extension case seal, exhaust hanger bracket and bolts (36ft-lbs). Placed the neutral/safety switch, installed oil cooler line fitting o-rings and clips.

Installed engine mounts, this was again a pita as expected, but I'm hoping for a much better and longer lasting outcome (through-bolt 50ft-lbs, mount to frame 35ft-lbs). I will note using the OEM mount steels were a heck of a lot easier to align and install and the Energy Suspension engine bushing fit perfectly.
engine_suspension.png

Installed transmission, space was tight under my covered patio, removed bellhousing adapter to fit under van on the trans lift, put bellhousing back on 48ft-lbs with the TorxPlus bit, filled the TC until it took no more and installed it under van fitting perfectly and smoothly, gently slid the trans and engine together, adjusted the trans lift and engine floor jack until the alignment pins happened and installed/tightened bolts to 45ft-lbs, turned the engine clockwise a few times first connecting the flywheel bolts, then around again while torquing to 44ft-lbs, it's a tedious workout.
trans_installed.png

Out of order I installed crossbrace (75ft-lbs) which first required drilling about bolt diameter depth forward of OEM mount for Energy Suspension transmission mount (18ft-lbs). I will again note the new mounts are awesome, very snug and solid feeling at the end of the transmission as I aligned the trans mount unlike anything I've felt with the junk replacements. Removed crossbrace and installed catalytic converter y-pipe. When checking if it all aligned I knew it needed drilling and also knew I needed the transmission jack out of the way, this seemed the lesser difficult way.

Installed exhaust y pipe -studs got rust cleaning, had used PB'laster soak overnight to easily remove nuts, now reassembled with a little copper antisieze applied to studs and wiped off excess, finger tightening all nuts then aligned before tightening (39front/30rear ft-lbs in sequence). Reinstalled crossbrace and transmission as above.
exhaust_spec.jpg

Universal joints and driveshaft.
The driveshaft was tough, my own fault, used shop press to remove nylon injected bearing caps, bent the ears inward 2 hundredths of an inch, gently corrected the ears with ball joint press torch and hammer, checked with caliper, checked again in the a.m., maintained good like new movement days later so I painted it. Installed- greasing the propeller shaft splines then tightening U-joint straps 27ft-lbs.
driveshaft_work_1.png

driveshaft_work_2.png

Replaced starter (18in-lbs/14ft-lbs/32ft-lbs) re-connected all wiring and heat shield, double checked all else, then re-connected neutral safety switch, re-connected battery, then checked switch for correct operation, tightened switch bolts and cable nut (18ft-lbs each).
starter_specs.jpg

Filled ATF fluid, looked everything over again, ran off the lizards with leaf blower and started it right up, tested gear selections, nice. Backed it out of the yard. It ran solid, feels great, I couldn't be happier, it shifts quicker now, very smooth through all gears, I feel 1st winds out a little longer like it does in tow/haul. WOT is fast can feel it has no hesitation or squishy and it just grabs all the way, it's SWEET! I am very pleased to report the 3-4 shift has no bang at all, it's as smooth as the rest even under full acceleration either from stop or on highway, the 1-2 shift isn't harsh, no hard shift, I believe my piston mod is a success!
Replaced doghouse, passenger seat and wrapped it up.
driveshaft_work_3.png

I took a long time on this and things changed along the way, challenges came up, taking me over two months. I thought I was prepared and able, it was a lot more difficult than anticipated. I learned a lot for sure hope this helps others.
Praise God. Thanks for reading, take care.
Last edited by Ironsides on November 4th 2020, 1:59pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ironsides
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby dcsleeper » November 3rd 2020, 11:58pm

>>, it was a lot more difficult than anticipated.

Even if it was, you seemed to have overcome!! congrats. I will refer back to this!
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » November 4th 2020, 12:18am

Thanks, dcsleeper I really appreciate that! It's just another trans rebuild post but I tried to cover and explain some things that I encountered, questioned and found little discussion or info on, if it helps anyone I did my job.
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » January 28th 2021, 11:53pm

Still hanging in there, the transmission job almost went well.
I wasn't a fan of the long soft 1-2 shift but all the rest worked great, I towed a trailer for a friend on I-95, came up behind a slow truck, had to slow to 50, then passed when I could accelerating uphill with a full trailer to 75 easily, it was BEAST, I could really tell the 3-4 clutch pack I installed produces a lot more torque, it is amazing.
Image
First, finally got P0300 code, certain it was the distributor, was a rainy few days, van sat for two months, made sense, cleared the code, it didn't come back right away, ordered A-Team Performance Complete Direct EFI Distributor 6 Cylinders Vortec Male Cap Compatible with Chevy Chevrolet GM 90° V6 4.3L / 262 1995-2007, Black Cap https://www.amazon.com/Team-Performance-Distributor-Cylinders-Compatible/dp/B078H3C2V2
I was dreading this job, read horror stories, shop manual says disconnect it, unbolt it, remove cap, mark rotor position on base, pull up assembly, mark rotor location again when it stops moving. Mark the new distributor the same way, then rotate new dizzy gear until the oil pump rod and rotor are the same as old one, carefully push it down into engine then watch the rotor align to original position mark, perfect, bolt it down, reconnect everything started right up. The A-Team Performance distributor is great OEM option, aluminum base, chromoly gear, works great.
new_dizzy.png

dizzy_easy.png

Next was front wheel bearings, purchased TIMKENs, this also went very well, just removed wheel, brake, spindle nut and pulled the rotor, wiped off grease, cleaned with mineral spirits, taking the rotors inside to clean the ABS gear, remove bearing races, press new races, pack bearings with grease, install them on the spindle, snug to 12 ftlbs, back off no more than 1/2 flat, finger tight, then install new cotter pin, replace brakes, wheels, much easier than the Toyota or Subaru I've worked on recently.
spindle_bearings.png

Then it happened, my rebuilt transmission broke. I heard a pop and it just lost power.
Sad_tow.png

I was devastated. Had it towed home and considered everything, maybe I screwed it up, maybe take it somewhere and have it fixed professionally. I was supposed to drive up north that week for holidays. Decided to pull the trans again and at least see for myself. Once the TC was removed I could see the pump tabs were broken. Further tear down revealed the cork gasket that came with the rebuild kit was leaking. I had checked for leaks, fluid was good, but I didn't keep checking it, I've replaced transmission filters/gaskets before without issue ever, but this gasket split between the bolts along the flange and leaked out the bolt holes.
pan_gasket.png

I decided to tear it down to the reverse piston again to make sure everything was still good, I also had fears the output shaft busted, ruined bushings or something horrific, turns out everything was fine. I followed the fluid path from the pump and cleaned all passages involved.
tear_down.png

pump_broke.png

Ordered a rebuilt pump from Cyclone Transmission https://cyclonetransmission.com/products/4l60e-298mm-pump-assembly rebuilt, tested and in stock, fast ship. I also ordered their new gasket/filter kit https://cyclonetransmission.com/products/4l60e-oem-auto-trans-filter-gasket-kit
I did see the 2-4 band was wearing unevenly and discovered ALTO Red Eagle had a bent tab or malformed compared to my original. I bent it to match original before re-installation. I did collect most ATF for reuse, ran it through the used filter and saved 8 qts, had 2 qts on hand and needed only buy another gallon.
2_4_band.png

filtered_ATF.png

rebuilt_pump.png

Then I decided to change things in the valve body again and go all in on custom options from the TransGo SK 4L60E, first I replaced the 3-4 accumulator piston spring with TransGo YELLOW spring and flipped the piston upside down. My 1-2 shift was too long, so I replaced TransGo 1-2 accumulator bushing & valve spring from BLUE to YELLOW for a firmer and faster shift, following that up with the Special Pin by drilling the valve body. Finally I removed the 3/16" ball bearing from the 'torque valve' because I didn't know any better, there's no explanation for it.
page_6.png

special_pin.png

Then I removed the paint/coating from the trans support cross member with a conditioning disk, first time I ever used it for good, usually it's too aggressive for anything I've tried it on, but it is clearly designed to clean hardened steel to shiny perfection. Painted it Rustoleum flat black paint/primer and top coated with hammered gloss black for durable finish.
cross_member.png

Enjoyed Thanksgiving with friends then reassembled everything, installed re-rebuilt transmission, connected everything and once again it started right up and drove well.
trans_install_2.png

Differences after this build, faster 1-2 shift no wind out, firmer grab of 2-4 band but the annoying bang dropping out of TCC lockup reoccurred, researching I found this is either due to removing the 'torque valve' 3/16" ball bearing which GM calls the Forward Abuse Valve. The TransGo kit bb addresses the valve body wear on the valve or possibly due to flipping the 3-4 piston, I will replace the bb when I can and go from there. After a year of neglect and major work it needed a bath.
clean_van.png

Either way the van drove well the 1000 mile trip north, I brought unseasonably warm weather with me but it faded as I've been here for over a month. I had a lot of work to do, raking a 1 acre yard in near freezing temps, changing the Toyota oil/filter and trans filter/gasket, spring cleaning, etcetera, I'm ready to return to Florida. If anything is to be learned from my mistake do not use cork gaskets, don't let your friends use cork gaskets if OEM is Farpak or rubber and never let your transmission run low on fluid, there is no dummy light, it will break the pump.
Praise God, stay well and as always thank you all for reading and posting, I may not log in and participate often, but I still read when I can.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.
van_north.png
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Ironsides
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby AstroWill » January 29th 2021, 4:25am

Thanks for these posts and the PM advice Ironsides. As soon as I can clear enough room in the garage I'm ready to tackle this transmission!

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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby SportsBoy » January 29th 2021, 3:51pm

Amazing documentation! I'm amazed you had the fortitude to do it twice.
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » January 29th 2021, 6:08pm

Thank you Will, I'm sure it'll go well.

Thank you Blake I really just had to do it.
The real challenge for me will be the engine and sub frame. Watching all these great builds I'm just jealous.
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Re: 2001 RWD Safari Van

Postby Ironsides [OP] » February 6th 2021, 12:01am

Forget the nap, mother nature said hibernate, got 17"+ from Winter Storm Orlena.
Orlena_2021.png
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